The Wide and the Deep



Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes

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With 4 days to go before kickoff...

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WR Matt Allen himself doesn't know whether he can go on Saturday. He is not yet catching passes, and was once again kept out of the "team" portion of practice today.

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If Allen is able to play on Saturday, it would be with a rubberized cast on his hand, but as Bronco mentioned during his weekly press conference, there is risk to playing Allen and displacing the fracture that is currently aligned and healing without surgery. Moving the fracture out of alignment would require surgery and longer time away than Allen might spend on the sidelines if a more cautious approach is taken and he is rested until the broken finger has healed.

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If Allen does not play, consider Bryce Mahuika as the third outside receiver, and look for Daniel Tervort and Reed White to share snaps inside.

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The release of BYU's two-deep today contained no surprises, but a couple of clarifications. First of all, with Aaron Attig listed as the backup Katbck to Corby Hodgkiss, it would appear Jordan Pendleton's contributions this season, if any, might be limited to special teams or simply scout team. He was one of four "provisional" scout team members when Bronco released his potential redshirt list last week.

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Attig's designation as the backup Katback is merely a formality, since Kellen Fowler would be the third safety in--either at Kat or Free.

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As suspected, Chris Muehlmann has been listed as the first-team deep snapper, and while no holder is listed (interesting... Arizona didn't list a holder, either--it will be punter Keenyn Crier, by the way), BYU is on its second-string holder, with Allen giving way to Bryce Mahuika. No way is Matt handling snaps this week, and he may not for a while.

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The returners are Mahuika and Collie for punt, and Mahuika and Collie for kickoff. Again, no surprises.

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Fast Facts:

-of the 13 Bowl Subdivision head coaches hired in 2005, only Notre Dame's Charlie Weis has a better record than Bronco Mendenhall. Bronco is 17-8; Weis is 19-6. Utah's Kyle Whittingham, by the way, is 15-10.

-with its victory over Utah to end the regular season in 2006, BYU now has the most league wins since the inception of the Mountain West Conference. BYU is 38-20; Utah is 37-21.

-can Max Hall pass for 200 yards in his first career start? If so, BYU will have thrown for 200-plus yards in 16 consecutive games.

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Yesterday's "trivia" mentioned Arizona coach Mike Stoops' previous experience against BYU on coaching staffs at Iowa and Kansas State. He is not the only Wildcat coach to have faced BYU elsewhere.

Brother and Defensive Soordinator Mark Stoops was a graduate assistant on the 1991 Iowa team that tied BYU in the Holiday Bowl, and he was the defensive backs coach with Wyoming when the Cowboys beat BYU in Laramie back in 1999.

Associate Head Coach Dana Dimel was the Offensive Coordinator on the Kansas State team that lost to BYU in the 1996 Cotton Bowl, and the Head Coach for the Wyoming team that beat BYU in '99.

Running backs coach Michael Smith was a graduate assistant on that 1996 K-State team, while defensive tackles coach Mike Tuisasasopo has coached against BYU while at Utah State, Nevada and Utah.

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Of course, Arizona Offensive Coordinator Sonny Dykes was on the Texas Tech staff with Robert Anae for 5 years, and Wildcats running backs coach Bill Bedenbaugh was Anae's graduate assistant on the O-Line for 3 years at Tech, then running backs coach for the next two years--before taking over for Anae on the offensive line in Lubbock.

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Former BYU recruit Sione Fua stopped by practice this afternoon--he's in town to enter the MTC tomorrow (LDS Mission to Chicago). Fua played his freshman year for Stanford, and his appearance in Provo can only mean BYU remains in his good graces even after he suited up for the Cardinal. I'm sure BYU would be happy to hear from this talented nose tackle should he want to be in touch down the line. Fua, by the way, played as a true freshman, just like BYU's Romney Fuga, against whom Fua wrestled as a high schooler in what I'm told were some classic matches. Fuga is currently serving a mission.

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